I’ve got to admit that things are getting a little crazy around here.
Since we left 2009, work has really kicked up. Coupled with hours sent at the gym, in transit, and the thousand errands that color and create a life, I am slipping. I’m falling into a place I’ve visited so many times before, this dark spinning place where time moves of its own volition, flying past like the taillights of a just-missed train.
Doubtless you’ve been here, too, an unwelcome houseguest in a corner of your own mind. You make time for the things you’d never thought you’d welcome (meetings, auto insurance payments, I-Hear-My-Brain-Cells-Screaming TV shows) and let go of those you never want to live without. The gym is popular. So are vegetables. But certain flagging commitments twist deeper, take a more insidious toll. Maybe you spend less time with your parents to party, shrug off a weeknight with your kids to work late. Maybe you stop finding time for the things that challenge you—the only things really worth doing.
Notice I say “you”. Clearly I don’t have a problem.
The following comes from a book on creativity, on the capture and care of that glittering bird. The author delivers advice through assignment. Write before the light breaks, he advises. Before the day can take its inevitable toll on your strength. He suggests this ritual as a habit of honoring oneself:
“When an everyday creative person has an interesting idea pop into her head and she stops to write it down, rather than letting it slip away, that is a small ritual acknowledging the importance of her own ideas. When a million tasks confront her and she stops to meditate and breathe for three seconds, rather than rushing on as if she had no self, that is a small ritual acknowledging the sanctity of her own being.”
Now is the time for a lifeline. This is the part when I reach for a hand. I’ve fallen into this place before; I’m sure I’ve seen you once or twice. But never before have I written about it, never have I committed myself to a readership dangling like a lifeline in the distance. While I doubt your day rests on the scintillating wit and dubious wisdom of these entries, a piece of my spirit slumbers without them.
I must wake this Rip Van Winkle, shake her arm and shuttered dreams. So I take the challenge for what it is—eternal—and vow to climb with my dizzy-drunk strength. I will leave this place and resume my journey, for at heart I am a troubadour. I may dance or I may crawl, but my spirit sings all the while.
Thank you for being here to listen.